Category Archives: History

Wikipedia entry on UPA-Jewish relations shows wildly conflicting narratives

There is a lack of consensus among historians about the involvement of the UPA in the massacre of Western Ukraine’s Jews. Numerous accounts ascribe to the UPA a role in the killing of Ukrainian Jews under the German occupation.[105][106] According to Ray Brandon, co-editor of The Shoah in Ukraine, “Jews in hiding in Volhynia saw the UPA as a threat.”[107] Other historians, however, do not support the claims that the UPA was involved in anti-Jewish massacres.[86][108]

While anti-semitism did not play a significant role in Ukrainian politics, the far right groups were anti-semitic like other nationalist and far right movements in Europe, with the first anti-semitic ideology and acts traced back to the Civil War in Russia. By 1940/41 the publications of Ukrainian nationalist and far right groups became explicitly anti-semitic.[109] German documents of the period give the impression that Ukrainian ultranationalists were indifferent to the plight of the Jews; they would either kill them or help them, whichever was more appropriate for their political goals.[110] According to John Paul Himka, OUN militias were responsible for a wave of pogroms in Lviv and western Ukraine in 1941 that claimed thousands of Jewish lives. The OUN had earlier repudiated pogroms but changed its stand when the Germans, with whom the OUN sought an alliance, demanded participation in them.[111] Recently declassified documents have shown that the OUN (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) was most likely not strongly involved in anti-Jewish activities in 1941.[112]

The OUN pursued a policy of infiltrating the German police in order to obtain weapons and training for its fighters. In this role they helped the Germans to implement the Final Solution. Although most Jews were actually killed by Germans, the OUN police working for them played a crucial supporting role in the liquidation of 200,000 Jews in Volhynia in the second half of 1942,[113] although in isolated cases Ukrainian policemen also helped Jews to escape.[114] Most of these police deserted in the following spring and joined UPA.[113]

Jews played an important role in the Soviet partisan movement in Volhynia and participated in its actions. According to Timothy D. Snyder, the Soviet partisans were known for their brutality, retaliating against entire villages suspected of working with the Germans, killing individuals deemed to be collaborators, and provoking the Germans to attack villages. UPA would later attempt to match that brutality.[115] By early 1943 the OUN had entered into open armed conflict with Nazi Germany. According to Ukrainian historian and former UPA soldier Lew Shankowsky, immediately upon assuming the position of commander of UPA in August 1943, Roman Shukhevych issued an order banning participation in anti-Jewish activities. No written record of this order, however, has been found.[116] In 1944, the OUN formally “rejected racial and ethnic exclusivity”[86]:474 Nevertheless, Jews hiding from the Germans with Poles in Polish villages were often killed by UPA along with their Polish saviours, although in at least one case they were spared as the Poles were murdered.[115]

Despite the earlier anti-Jewish statements by the OUN, and UPA’s involvement in the killing of some Jews, there were cases of Jewish participation within the ranks of UPA, some of whom held high positions. According to journalist and former fighter Leo Heiman, some Jews fought for UPA,[117] and others included medical personal.[118] These included Dr. Margosh, who headed UPA-West’s medical service, Dr. Marksymovich, who was the Chief Physician of the UPA’s officer school, and Dr. Abraham Kum, the director of an underground hospital in the Carpathians. The latter individual was the recipient of the UPA’s Golden Cross of Merit.[citation needed] Some Jews who fled the ghettos for the forests were killed by members of the UPA.[119]

One Ukrainian historian has said that almost every UPA unit included Jewish support personnel. According to Phillip Friedman many Jews, particularly those whose skills were useful to UPA, were sheltered by them.[120] It has been claimed that UPA sometimes executed its Jewish personnel, although Friedman evaluated such claims as either uncorroborated or mistaken.[121] But it has been said by historian Daniel Romanovsky that in late 1943, the commander of the UPA, Shukhevych, announced a verbal order to destroy the Poles, Jews and Gypsies with exception to medical personnel, and later fighters executed personnel also at the approach of the Soviet Army.[122]

According to Herbert Romerstein, Soviet propaganda complained about Zionist membership in UPA,[123] and during the period of persecution of Jews in the early 1950s described the alleged connection between Jewish and Ukrainian nationalists.[124]

One well-known claimed example of Jewish participation in UPA was most likely a hoax, according to sources including Friedman.[125][126] According to this report, Stella Krenzbach (pl), the daughter of a rabbi and a Zionist, joined the UPA as a nurse and intelligence agent. She is alleged to have written, “I attribute the fact that I am alive today and devoting all the strength of my thirty-eight years to a free Israel only to God and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. I became a member of the heroic UPA on 7 November 1943. In our group I counted twelve Jews, eight of whom were doctors.”[127] Later Friedman concluded that Krenzbach was a fictional character, as the only data about her was published in an OUN paper. No one knew of such an employee at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where she supposedly worked after the war.

Supporters of the UPA argue that the relationship between the UPA and Western Ukraine’s Jews was complex and not one-sided.[128]


The article also includes a photo of this apparently official UPA communication:

Ukrainian Insurgent Army, September 1944 Instruction abstract. Text in Ukrainian: “Jewish question” – “No actions against Jews to be taken. Jewish issue is no longer a problem (only few of them remain). This does not apply to those who stand out against us actively.”


I heard elsewhere that Karaite Jews were accepted by UPA, but Russian Jews were rejected as Moskals.

Karaite Jews believe more strictly in the Torah and do not feel bound by the oral traditions in the Midrash or Talmud. (

Interestingly, there’s a narrative suggesting it was Danylo of Galicia who invited the Karaites to settle there, though this narrative may have been invented to appeal to Rutherian sentiments. More here.

OUN Leader Yaroslav Skaskiw remembered in Lviv

— Двадцятидворічний Ярослав Скасків загинув у бою з німецькими фашистами 19 липня 1944 року. Тоді фронт проходив через ці землі. У „Літописі УПА“ написано, що Провід ОУН перебував недалеко від Прибина в селі Старі Стрілища, а боївка оборони була в лісі поблизу. Відступаюча з фронту німецька частина перетинала село, тож ухилитися від зіткнення було неможливо. Намагаючись відступити до лісу, штаб прийняв нерівний бій, врятуватися в якому не було шансів. У результаті бою загинули два провідники — краєвий референт ОУН Юліан Гулян, псевдо Токар, і обласний провідник ОУН Ярослав Скасків, псевдо Моряк.

3 вересня 2017 року в селі Прибин на Перемишлянщині освятили відновлений військовий меморіал полеглим невідомим воїнам УПА — 11 пам’ятних хрестів. Серед тих поховань — могила студента-відмінника хіміко-технологічного факультету Львівської політехніки обласного провідника ОУН Ярослава Скасківа.

On September 3, 2017, a reconstructed military memorial was dedicated to the fallen unidentified UPA soldiers – 11 memorable crosses in the Peremyshlyan region in the village of Pribin. Among those burial places is the grave of the student-specialist of the chemical-technological faculty of Lviv Polytechnic of the OUN Regional Leader Yaroslav Skaskiv.

Twenty-two-year-old Yaroslav Skaskiv died in a fight with the German fascists on July 19, 1944. Then the front passed through these lands. In the “Chronicle of the UPA” it is written that the OUN’s wires were not far from Pribinka in the village of Stari Strilishka, and the combat bunker was in the forest near. The German side, retreating from the front, crossed the village, so it was impossible to avoid the collision. Trying to retreat to the forest, the headquarters took an unequal battle, to escape in which there was no chance. As a result of the battle, two leaders died – regional adviser of the OUN Julian Gulyan, pseudo Tokar, and the regional leader of the OUN Yaroslav Sakasov, pseudo Mariner.

Many hippie protesters weren’t against war, they wanted the Viet Cong / NVA to win!

“During the Vietnam war on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, many of the protestors were against the war NOT on general principles but simply because they were on the side of the Viet Cong. I should know. I was there. What the left dislikes is not war so much as losing.” ~Kenneth Allen Hopf

How Theodor Adorno redefined Fascism.

How, then, did progressives in America re-define fascism and Nazism as phenomena of the right? This sleight-of-hand occurred after World War II, once fascism and Nazism were discredited with the reputation of Holocaust. Then progressives recognized it was important to cover up the leftist roots of fascism and Nazism and to move them from the left-wing column into the right-wing column.

The man most responsible for the progressive redefinition of fascism is Theodor Adorno, a German Marxist intellectual and a member of the influential Institute for Social Research, otherwise known as the Frankfurt School. The Frankfurt School scholars were leftists and most of them were refugees from Nazi Germany. Some settled in Europe; others like Adorno and Herbert Marcuse came to the United States.

Adorno’s influence in defining how fascism came to be understood in America cannot be underestimated. When he and Marcuse arrived, America had just waged war against the Nazis, and after the war Nazism became the very measure of political horror and evil. Not much was known about fascism and Nazism, outside of superficial newspaper and radio coverage. In academia and the media, there was an acknowledged curiosity about what had attracted so many people to fascism and Nazism, with its attendant anti-Semitism.

Marcuse and Adorno were Jewish, and so could be expected to know about anti-Semitism and the fate of the Jews. And they were refugees from the Nazis, so they could claim to be speaking about Nazism, as it were, “from the inside.” Their work was embraced by the American Jewish Committee, which naturally felt that these two German exiles would know precisely the nature of Nazism, fascism and anti-Semitism and how to overcome them. The two Frankfurt School scholars basically shaped what was considered anti-fascist education in the United States.

In reality, the American Jewish Committee had no idea that Adorno and Marcuse had their own agenda: not to fight fascism per se, but to promote Marxism and a leftist political agenda. Marxism and fascism are quite close; they are kindred collectivist ideologies of socialism. Their common enemy is, of course, free markets and the various institutions of the private sector, including the church and the traditional family. Marxism and fascism both sought to get rid of capitalism and remake the social order. So did Marcuse, Adorno and the Frankfurt School.

Adorno decided to repackage fascism as a form of capitalism and moral traditionalism. In effect, they reinvented fascism as a phenomenon of the political right. In this preposterous interpretation, fascism was remade into two things that real fascists despised: free markets and support for a traditional moral order. With a vengeance that appears only comic in retrospect, the Frankfurt School launched a massive program to uproot nascent fascism in the United States by making people less attached to the core economic and social institutions of American society.

The classic document in this regard is Adorno’s famous F-Scale. The F stands for fascism. Adorno outlined the scale in his 1950 book The Authoritarian Personality. The basic argument of the book was that fascism is a form of authoritarianism and that the worst manifestation of authoritarianism is self-imposed repression. Fascism develops early, Adorno argued, and we can locate it in young people’s attachments to religious superstition and conventional middle-class values about family, sex and society.

With a straight face, Adorno produced a list of questions aimed at detecting fascist affinities. “Obedience and respect for authority are the most important virtues children should learn.” “Homosexuality is a particularly rotten form of delinquency.” “No insult to our honor should ever go unpunished.” “No matter how they act on the surface, men are interested in women for only one reason.” Basically, a yes answer to these questions showed that you were a budding fascist.

Photo of Ukrainian wrestling legend Ivan Piddubny

Poddubny was born on John the Apostle day in 1871 into a family of Zaporozhian Cossacks[3][4][5][6][7] in the village of Krasenivka, in the Zolotonosha county (uyezd) of the Poltava Governorate of the Russian Empire (present-day Chornobai Raion of Cherkasy Oblast, Ukraine). Having a big family Poddubny senior had a difficult time to provide for his big family, therefore Ivan was forced to leave the father’s house before turning 20.[1] As a young man, Poddubny worked as a fitter in the ports of Sevastopol and Feodosiya for seven years earning a nickname of Ivan the Great.[1] In Feodosiya Ivan started to practice with kettlebells and participated in some wrestling fights.[1] Sometime since 1897[1]-1898 he started traveling with circus tours and performed at first Sevastopol and later Kiev arenas.

. . . .

While touring in Rostov, Ivan meets his future second wife whom he marries in 1923.[1] In 1920s he was touring the United States staying undefeated while visiting New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco. During his tour in the United States he was forced to fight freestyle as his opponents.[2] At age 56 Ivan won a beauty contest among men in the United States.[1] Being unable to take out his earned half a million dollars from the bank (required to be a citizen), he left for home.[1] Upon return, he found out that his relatives whom he spared some of his land were classified as kulaks.[1] In 1937 the NKVD agents detained him in the Rostov prison for a year where he was tortured, due to his corrections in the passport.[2] The NKVD agents also were requesting from Poddubny to tell about his bank accounts abroad where he could have held money earned for his fights.[2]

Later Ivan continued to perform in the Russian circuses retiring finally at age of 70.[1] His last farewell performance he did in the Tula city circus in 1941.[2] After the retirement he with his wife settled in Kuban buying a two-storey house with a garden in Yeysk.[1]

In November 1939, he was given the title of Honored Artist of the RSFSR, and in 1945 that of Honored Master of Sports.

During the Nazi German occupation, he refused to leave the Soviet Union to train German wrestlers.[8]

Poddubny maintained a lifelong professional rivalry with wrestler Stanislaus Zbyszko. He died undefeated on 8 August 1949, in the town of Yeysk, in the Kuban region in Southern Russia from a heart attack.[1] Ivan was buried in Yeysk in a park outside of the city.[2] At his burial site was installed an obelisk that used to say “Here lies the Russian bogatyr”.[2] In 1988 somebody destroyed the obelisk and wrote Khokhol-Petliuravite (see Anti-Ukrainian sentiment#Ethnic slurs).[2]
Personal life

When Ivan Poddubny was issued a passport, it stated that he is Russian with a surname Poddubny.[1] He was forced to make corrections and himself changed his nationality to Ukrainian with a surname Pіddubny.[1]

His first wife Antonina cheated on him and ran away with another stealing his gold medals.[1] After she regretted and tried to return, but Ivan did not forgive her.[1]

#Ukrainian and #Polish nationalists have commemorate the victims of Volyn tragedy of 1943

#Ukrainian and #Polish nationalists have commemorate the victims of Volyn tragedy of 1943

On July 11, representatives of the National Corps Ukrainian nationalist party, the Sturm magazine and the Roman Ribarsky Institute laid flowers to the memorial of the Wolyn tragedy victims of 1943. In this way representatives of Ukrainian and Polish nationalist environment have shown their readiness to draw constructive conclusions from that tragic for both our nations historical period. Readiness to choose the path of dialogue and mutual understanding instead of senseless hatred and conflicts.

This is our next step in the future and while others are shouting about their own historical truth, refusing to have a two-way dialogue about the undoubtly heavy pages of our common history, we choose the way of action. Words and thoughts are nothing, a man can truly manifests ownself in actions only.

While, acting in the interests of a third party, tamed propagandists continue to twist the spiral of hatred, we are slowly but surely moving towards the future. Those people, whose mind works in a constructive and creative direction, have long been to our ranks. While those, who has been building own political capital on historical speculations around the theme of Volyn tragedy, are just slowly digging own grave by their lies.

It is unlikely that we will be able to determine who was right then. Clearly, that the UPA warriors will remain heroes for Ukrainians, while Poles will treat them rather negaitve. Same situation with the Armia Krajowa. After all, historical mistakes teaches us not to repeat mistakes of our predecessors. It’s impossible to change the past, but nobody can take our right to choose our future.

“The history is given to us to learn from mistakes of our ancestors, whatever it is glorious or tragic. After all, it is we, new generation of Ukrainian and Poles, who choose the history our descendants will read.” Vladislav Kovalchuk, a representative of the National Corps party in Poland, said.

David Hume on the Study of History

“In reality, what more agreeable entertainment to the mind, than to be transported into the remotest ages of the world, and to observe human society, in its infancy, making the first faint essays towards the arts and sciences: To see the policy of government, and the civility of conversation refining by degrees, and every thing which is ornamental to human life advancing towards its perfection. To remark the rise, progress, declension, and final extinction of the most flourishing empires: The virtues, which contributed to their greatness, and the vices which drew on their ruin. In short, to see the whole human race, from the beginning of time, pass, as it were, in review before us; appearing in their true colours, without any of those disguises, which, during their life-time, so much perplexed the judgment of the beholders. What spectacle can be imagined, so magnificent, so various, so interesting? What amusement, either of the senses or imagination, can be compared with it?”

— David Hume, “On the Study of History”

New Ukrainian comics Volya

THE ‘VOLIA’ ALT-HISTORY STEAMPUNK COMICS BOOK, A FRESH LOOK ON THE NATIONAL HISTORY… “When me and my colleagues were digging in archival materials, we came across the photos of heavy bombers of the Ukrainian Republic: Zeppelin Staaken, navy, armored trains, Ansal aircraft of own production, armed forces, Skoropadsky’s luxury cars, pompous banquets Ukrainian delegation in Berlin and Kiev, Ukrainian Republic air fleet of 400 aircraft, little known territories of Ukraine far in Asia, etc. Then we’ve realized that it is extremely important to convey all we have seen to people in a cool form…

English Translation of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s “200 Years Together”

This is a big deal.

There is a project to publish (long-overdue) translations of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s 200 Years Together. So far, they have posted Chapters 2, 3, 6, and 7, with more on the way. The website is: The translation reads very smoothly and seems quite professional.

In 1958 Mao Zedong ordered all the sparrows to be killed because they ate too much grain.

Yes, Communism is this stupid. See also, “the “ryazan miracle”.

—“In 1958 Mao Zedong ordered all the sparrows to be killed because they ate too much grain. This caused one of the worst environmental disasters in history. . . .

This lead to a problem the next year. It was noticed that insect infestation of crop fields had soared. Sparrows ate pests such as locusts, and after the campaign, the locusts lost their major predator. This meant that killing the sparrows was counter-productive. The sparrows, it seemed, didn’t only eat grain seeds. They also ate insects.

Locust populations boomed and they ate everything in their path.”—